Drinks for people with type 2 diabetes
Choosing the right drinks for people with diabetes is as important as choosing the right foods, and it isn’t always simple. Is coffee helpful or harmful to insulin resistance? Does zero-calorie diet soda affect your blood sugar? Some studies may only add to the confusion. We reviewed the research and then asked three top registered dietitians, who are also certified diabetes educators, what they tell their clients about seven everyday drinks for people with diabetes. Here’s what to know before you sip.
Drink more: Water
Drinking enough water has so many health benefits. But could downing a few glasses of H2O help control your blood sugar? A study in the journal Diabetes Care suggests so: The researchers found that people who drank 475ml (two cups’ worth) or less of water a day were about 30 percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drank more than that daily. The connection seems to be a hormone called vasopressin, which helps the body regulate hydration. Vasopressin levels increase when a person is dehydrated, which prompts the liver to produce more blood sugar.
How much: Experts recommend six to nine 250ml glasses of water per day for women and slightly more for men. You’ll get some of this precious fluid from fruit and vegetables and other fluids, but not all of it. “If you’re not in the water habit, have a glass before each meal,” recommends registered dietitian Constance Brown-Riggs, a certified diabetes educator. “After a few weeks, add a glass at meals too.” If you’re already meeting your water targets, there’s no need to push it further.
Drink more: Milk
Moo juice isn’t just a kids’ drink – it’s one of the best drinks for people with diabetes, too. It provides the calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin D your body needs for many essential functions. “Low-fat or fat-free milk is a great beverage for people with diabetes,” Brown-Riggs says. Drinking more milk can also help prevent strokes (a concern for many people with diabetes) by 7 percent, according to research from the Journal of the American Heart Association. Bonus: The researchers also found that eating cheese produced the same effect. If you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, eating plenty of dark green vegetables can help you obtain the calcium and other electrolytes you need.
How much: Experts recommend eating two to three daily servings of dairy products, including low-fat or fat-free milk. Milk does contain carbohydrates so remember to factor in 12 grams of carbohydrate for every 250ml glass. “Drink milk with a meal so your body can handle the natural rise in blood sugar that happens when we eat carbohydrates,” says registered dietitian Angela Ginn, a certified diabetes educator.